The quest for the college football national championship begins Saturday all over the country, including Fort Worth.
TCU, ranked 13th in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25 Poll, kicks off their 2016 season Saturday night at Amon G. Carter Stadium against South Dakota State. The Horned Frogs have won their last 14 home openers, fifth longest active streak in the nation. They also have a 13-game home winning streak. Needless to say, TCU is ready for this weekend.
“it’s been a long time coming,” said wide receiver Deante’ Gray. “During two-a-days and even spring football, you feel like it’ll never come around. Now we sit here just a few days away so it’s exciting.”
“I love home games,” said defensive end Josh Carraway. “Just going out there an hour before the game’s kick-off and seeing the student section, it’s just awesome.”
Good things are expected from TCU this season. The Horned Frogs are picked to finish second in the Big 12 Conference behind Oklahoma. They have the Big 12’s best overall record (23-3) and conference record (15-3) over the past two seasons. However, preseason polls and expert predictions are of no concern at this point.
“If I don’t beat South Dakota State, I won’t even have to ask who the experts are,” said TCU head coach Gary Patterson. “You guys are talking to the wrong person when it comes to worrying about anything that happens down the road. Right now, everybody thinks they can win a conference title, and they should. Why play the game if you aren’t going to try to find a way to win the conference title?”
This is the first meeting between TCU and South Dakota State. The Jackrabbits reached the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoffs last season for the fourth year in a row. Preseason polls have them at number eight. Even though TCU is highly favored in this one, the Horned Frogs are not taking SDSU for granted.
“We just have to focus on the game at hand and not what anyone else is saying,” added Gray. “This is the only game that matters right now.”
TCU is 11-4 in season debuts and 14-1 in home openers under Patterson. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday in Fort Worth.
Written by C. James